Essay sappho

Please answer to these questions between sentences. In "Throned in splendor, deathless, O Aphrodite," what is the speaker asking the goddess of love to do?

Essay sappho

The following entry contains recent criticism on Sappho's poetry. Acknowledged as the greatest female poet of the classical world, Sappho is renowned for her intensely personal verse, only a fragmentary portion of which has survived into the contemporary era.

Sappho (Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism) - Essay -

Considered the most accomplished and influential lyric poet of antique Greece, she composed poems that continue to be admired and respected for their characteristic passion, lucid simplicity, and evocative imagery. As a literary figure surrounded by legend, Sappho has also been the subject of much critical controversy and speculation and has been linked with both female homoeroticism and the grounding myths of poetic discourse.

A fascinating subject for successive generations of poets, novelists, playwrights, and biographers, Sappho of Lesbos remains a figure whose elusive thoughts writers have attempted to reconstruct.

In addition to her lyric works, Sappho also wrote a variety of occasional poems, in particular a number of epithalamia, or marriage songs, for which she became famous during her own lifetime.

Her compositions in other poetic forms, including narrative and elegiac verse, have largely been lost. Textual History While tradition holds that Sappho composed enough poetry to fill nine volumes, collected in Alexandria during the third century b.

Her writings are thought to have endured into the early medieval period before being lost or destroyed by about the ninth century. Since that time, her poetry has, for the most part, only been accessible through quotations in a variety of secondary sources.

An discovery of several Egyptian papyri containing additional verse fragments added somewhat to the Sapphic manuscript tradition, which includes only one poem in its entirety. Beginning in the eighteenth century efforts were made by German classicists to translate her literary remains into Latin, an important source for later translators.

This process continued into the twentieth century as new texts containing bits of Sapphic verse were unearthed. Though English translations of individual poems by Sappho appeared in the seventeenth century, the first complete English translation of the Sapphic fragments was not completed until and the publication of Henry Thornton Wharton's Sappho: In the contemporary era the most well-regarded version of Sapphic verse in English has been Mary Barnard's Sappho: A New Translation Biographical Information Little is known about Sappho's life and the information that is available cannot be viewed as trustworthy because accounts of the poet's life have become thoroughly interwoven with legend and myth.

The only standard, but unreliable, source of information about Sappho's life is the Suda, a Greek lexicon compiled about the end of the tenth century.

Essay sappho

It records that Sappho was a native of Lesbos, an island in Asia Minor, and that she was probably born in either Eresus or Mytilene. Her father's name is given as Scamandronymus, and her mother's as Cleis. Evidence also suggests that Sappho had three brothers, and that her family belonged to the upper class.

She is believed to have married a wealthy man named Cercylas—they had a daughter named Cleis together. Sappho apparently spent the majority of her life in the city of Mytilene, and most of her time there was occupied in organizing and running a thiasos, or academy for unmarried young women.


As was the custom of the age, wealthy families from Lesbos and neighboring states would send their daughters to live for a period of time in these informal institutions in order to be instructed in the proper social graces, as well as in composition, singing, and the recitation of poetry.

Ancient commentary attests to the fact that Sappho's thiasos ranked as one of the best and most prestigious in that part of Greece, and as its dedicated teacher and spiritual leader, she enjoyed great renown.

Some legends of Sappho's life indicate that she lived to old age, but several others contend that she fell hopelessly in love with a young boatman, Phaon, and, disappointed by their failed love affair, leaped to her death from a high cliff—a story made famous by the Roman poet Ovid in his Heroides, but one which has been largely discredited by scholars.

Though she used a less refined language than that of the formal Ionian literary mode employed in Homeric epic, Sappho's poetry is said to demonstrate an innate verbal elegance that closely mirrors the rhythms of natural speech.

Her standard metrical form, designated as the Sapphic meter by scholars, consists of four lines: Characteristically mellifluous, Sappho's verse also exhibits her trademark directness, whether she is writing about nature, the gods, or the voluptuous physique of one of her pupils.

Most of Sappho's poems are monodies, songs composed for the single voice and intended to be sung to the accompaniment of the lyre. Much of her verse was also occasional, usually meant to commemorate some event taking place in her thiasos, but she also composed narrative poetry, religious hymns, and epithalamia, or wedding songs.

Sappho's lyrics are first and foremost personal, conveying deeply felt emotion in a simple, lucid style. The speaker in her poems generally assumed to be Sappho herself spontaneously exhibits an unusually wide range of emotional responses: In a famous epigram, Plato named her the tenth Muse, and praise of such a superlative nature has been common through the centuries.

Scholars believe that Sappho's epithalamia raised the ancient folk tradition of the marriage song to a new level of artistic excellence, and her lyrics, fragmentary as they are, have been nearly universally considered outstanding poetic achievements. However, while her literary reputation has remained high into the contemporary period, Sappho's personal reputation has been controversial, sometimes even to the point of overshadowing her status as a poet.

The dispute over her reputation seems to have begun two or three centuries after her death, and consists of mostly unfounded accusations of immorality, including contentions that she was the lover of Alcaeus, and that she instructed her pupils in homosexual practices.

By the twentieth century Sappho's name had become synonymous with lesbianism in both popular and scholarly parlance.Essay on Sappho Sappho BCE– BCE Little is known with certainty about the life of Sappho, or Psappha in her native Aeolic dialect.

She was born probably about B.C. to an aristocratic family on the island of Lesbos during a great cultural flowering in the area. Apparently her birthplace was either Eressos or Mytilene, the main. The following entry contains recent criticism on Sappho's poetry.

For additional information on Sappho's life and works, see CMLC, Vol. 3.

Essay sappho

Acknowledged as the greatest female poet of the classical. The subject of Sappho's problematic relationship is unknown; however I think that it Sappho longs for Aphrodite. Because Aphrodite is a goddess, she may not ever be interested in having a relationship with Sappho.

Sappho Essay Sappho is one of the most important of the lyric poets of the ancient Greek world.

Sappho (Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism) - Essay -

She probably lived from the middle part of the seventh through the early part of the sixth centuries b.c.e. Sappho’s views of the world have shaped the minds of many. For example, she introduces the idea that for each person is a half and they must find their other half, their true love. In her lyric to Venus, the daughter of the goddess of love, she begs for the goddess to help her with her love life.

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